NY Knicks Game-by-Game Predictions for the Month of April
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In their two seasons with Carmelo Anthony, New York has typically had a lot of success in April, going 5-2 in 2010-11, and 9-4 in 2011-12.
Melo even won the Player of the Month award for April last season with some MVP-caliber play down the stretch.
With injuries hitting the team hard in recent weeks, Anthony will again be relied on to lead the way, but that's not something Knicks fans should be too worried about.
After a tough few months, the team is back on track, making strides on both ends of the floor.
J.R. Smith and Kenyon Martin have been fantastic as of late, and Iman Shumpert is looking more and more like his usual self. When you couple that with the eventual return of Tyson Chandler, the Knicks should be set to make some noise in April.
vs. Boston Celtics
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Date: Sunday, March 31
A New York win would effectively take the Celtics out of the race for the division title if they aren't already, making it a game of high importance for both sides.
Even with the injuries, the Celtics are still a tough opponent, but with the Knicks on a roll, they should have enough firepower to outclass them again.
J.R. Smith is the player to watch out for. He's scored 30 off the bench in three straight games, and doesn't look like slowing down any time soon.
Prediction: W 97-91
Updated Record: 46-26
@ Miami Heat
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Date: Tuesday, April 2
Though they've blown them out twice already this season, the Knicks will go into their game against the Miami Heat at the American Airlines Arena as clear underdogs.
Fresh off a 27-game win streak, the Heat are a force to be reckoned with, having played much better basketball since their two defeats to the Knicks earlier this season.
The Knicks, too, are currently playing their best basketball of the season, so this should be a great matchup for the neutral fan.
Prediction: L 103-99
Updated Record: 46-27
@ Atlanta Hawks
Date: Wednesday, April 3
The Atlanta Hawks still have an outside chance of catching the Knicks for the second seed in the East, but the likelihood is that they'll have to settle for a much lower seed.
New York already has one win against the Hawks this season—a game in which Carmelo Anthony scored an efficient 42 points—and should have enough in the tank to get another, even on the second night of a back-to-back.
The Phillips Arena is not the most daunting of NBA arenas, and once you couple that with the fact the Knicks match up relatively well with Atlanta, it doesn't look good for the Hawks.
Atlanta will put up a good fight, but if Tyson Chandler is back to take on Al Horford, it will be New York's game to lose.
Prediction: W 94-88
Updated Record: 47-27
vs. Milwaukee Bucks
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Date: Friday, April 5
For the majority of the season, the Knicks' perimeter defense has been a disaster, so a matchup against Brandon Jennings, Monta Ellis and J.J. Redick will be tough to handle.
The Knicks have been a much better defensive team since acquiring Kenyon Martin, but even so, this is shaping up to be an offensive-minded game.
It's going to come down to who can score more, and with J.R. Smith playing well and Carmelo Anthony in his favorite month of the season, that makes New York the favorites.
Prediction: W 104-96
Updated Record: 48-27
@ Oklahoma City Thunder
Date: Sunday, April 7
Even without Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks came seriously close to winning in their last meeting with the Oklahoma City Thunder, but things will be a lot tougher at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.
The Thunder are one of the very best home teams in the league, having lost only five games in OKC this season, making this a tough game for Anthony and the Knicks.
It won't exactly be a blowout, but it's hard to see the Knicks having too much of a chance if Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are their usual selves.
Prediction: L 101-92
Updated Record: 48-28
vs. Washington Wizards
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Date: Tuesday, April 9
There's a huge gulf in talent between these two teams in favor of the Knicks, as the Wizards really don't have an answer for Carmelo Anthony, J.R. Smith or Tyson Chandler.
If the Knicks can move the ball and play tough defense, the Wizards won't be able to keep up, and will be fighting to avoid a blowout like their last meeting on MSG.
Prediction: W 105-86
Updated Record: 49-28
@ Chicago Bulls
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Date: Thursday, April 11
Much has been made of the Knicks' inability to beat the Chicago Bulls this season, and a road game at the Madhouse won't make things any easier.
The Bulls are simply too physical for the Knicks, consistently frustrating them and getting them into foul trouble.
Due to the injury situation, the Knicks have a severe lack of depth right now, so having key players sit due to fouls could be devastating in this game.
It will be a tough defensive battle, which is perfect for Chicago. The only thing that will keep it close are the hot hands of Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith.
Ultimately, the Bulls will complete the sweep of the Knicks; a worrying thought for the Knicks considering they have the potential to meet in the playoffs.
Prediction: L 89-87
Updated Record: 49-29
@ Cleveland Cavaliers
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Date: Friday, April 12
The Cleveland Cavaliers are a team that always plays the Knicks well, and on the second night of a back-to-back after a physical game in Chicago, they'll have the chance to capitalize on New York.
Kyrie Irving could well be back by the time this game is played, and he can cause some serious problems for the Knicks. In their first meeting this season, he scored a career-high 41 points against New York, taking advantage of the weak perimeter defense.
Clearly, the Knicks are the better team, but this has the potential to be a trap game for them on the road. Cleveland is always a tough place to play, especially after playing the Bulls the night before.
Prediction: L 102-97
Updated Record: 49-30
vs. Indiana Pacers
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Date: Sunday, April 14
As it stands, the Indiana Pacers are the Knicks' main competitors for the second seed, and should be by the time this game comes around.
It has the potential to be the biggest game of the season for both sides, and could well be the matchup that decides who finishes where.
The Pacers have a 2-1 season record against New York, but their two wins came at home. When they last met at the Garden it was a comfortable double-figure win for the Knicks.
This is the type of game that will require Carmelo Anthony to step up and dominate against an elite defense, and that's exactly what he'll do.
A hugely important game at Madison Square Garden is just the stage for Melo, so expect one of his best nights of the season here.
Prediction: W 92-88
Updated Record: 50-30
@ Charlotte Bobcats
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Date: Monday, April 15
Even at home, the Charlotte Bobcats are not a team that should be causing any real problems for the Knicks.
They are a team J.R. Smith has had some fantastic performances against this season, and in a game that the Knicks will really need to win, we should expect he and his teammates to get the job done.
This is the worst team in the league for a reason, and a Knicks team looking to heat up ahead of the playoffs should make quick work of them.
Prediction: W 103-89
Updated Record: 51-30
vs. Atlanta Hawks
Date: Wednesday, April 17
Once again, the Atlanta Hawks are a tough opponent to face, but with the Knicks looking to end the season on a high, they aren't quite tough enough.
It sounds weird to say it, but considering that the game is at the Garden, and the Knicks should be in the midst of a two-game win streak, they should complete the sweep of the Hawks here.
There is potential for a slip-up if Mike Woodson decides to rest some of his players ahead of the postseason, but with playoff seeding possibly on the line, it's hard to see that happening.
Prediction: W 95-92
Updated Record: 52-30
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Looking at their remaining schedule, the New York Knicks should at least be looking at their first 50-win season since 2000.
If they can get to the 50-win mark, that should be enough to wrap up the Atlantic Division, with the Brooklyn Nets needing to go 8-2 in their last 10 to catch up.
Whether or not it will be enough the earn the second seed is another question, but with a game against the Indiana Pacers coming within their last 11, it very well could be.
Based on these predictions, the Knicks will go 7-4 in the month of April, which adds up to 14-4 in their final 18 games. That's a great record to be going into the playoffs with, and the momentum produced could be enough to send them on a big run.
Final Record: 52-30